It used to be that word of mouth was one of the best advertising tools for professional services like plumbers. While it still can be a valuable tool, there’s a different kind of word that needs to be spread: the online word.
This is done by using SEO, or search engine optimization, to position your business better in search engine results. A lot of small companies and professional service providers are among the last to adopt optimization for their websites and online presence because they didn’t understand its value until now.
Some people were waiting for the “SEO trend” to die out and the next big marketing thing to come along. The problem, though, is that SEO never left. It probably never will.
As long as it works, Google and other search engines will keep using it. That means that in 2020, if your plumbing company wants to have any chance at a future, SEO is now essential.
Keep reading to learn all about plumber SEO, how it can help your business, why you need local SEO, and more. We’ll cover keyword research, off-page optimization, and even provide helpful tips on boosting your SEO efforts in small ways.
To begin, we’ll dig a little deeper into the basics of SEO and why you need it for your plumbing company.
What is SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is simply the process of optimizing online content for the sake of search engines. That can include your business website, as well as other online content or off-page material.
For example, aside from your website, you probably have business information out there in places like:
- Social Media
- Business Directory Listings
- Review Sites (Yelp!, Google, etc.)
- Industry Forums
These are just a few examples of where your business can be found online, and they all need to be optimized as a part of a well-rounded SEO strategy if you are truly going to make the most of your efforts.
You can’t just optimize your website and let the rest go. In fact, there are some instances where the off-page content matters more to Google than your website.
SEO includes optimizing your entire online presence. It can include things like:
- Content creation or improvement
- Optimization of page navigation
- Sitemap optimization or creation
- NAP consistency (Name, Address, Phone information on off-page listings)
- Page speed improvement
- Mobile optimization
- Keyword research and integration
As you can see, this is a lot more than just using the right keywords in the right content. It’s a strategy, a process, and a way of doing business that is a must for professional services today.
Is plumber SEO important?
Based on the last sentence, you can see that plumber SEO is absolutely important, just as all SEO efforts are for any business. Think about how many plumbing companies you know just in your city or town.
Now, think about how many are within a 20-mile radius of you. If you live in a smaller area, this may be a smaller network.
However, any competition is still competition. They’re getting optimized. If you aren’t, you’re the one that loses in the end. SEO is going to allow people to find your business. After all, if you can’t be searched, you can’t be found.
Optimizing your online presence will make it easier for your business to be discovered by local customers who have various plumbing needs. You can even optimize for specific services to target your marketing efforts even more.
When you improve your website, it will move up in the search rankings. This creates a better sense of authority since you’re among the top results. It also gives you a chance to be seen and chosen in the first place.
Plumber SEO services will also help you learn about the future of online marketing as your strategies are being integrated. When you work with professionals, they will walk you through the process and help you understand just why you need SEO and what it can do for your brand.
How helpful is SEO for plumbers?
So, you need SEO. You know it is necessary and you know that there are perks to be had. But just what are those benefits?
For starters, implementing an effective SEO strategy will increase the chances that your website shows up in the first page of search results.
It will also ensure that your local business is more likely to show up in the featured listings or answers sections on Google, which are highlighted areas that always get the attention of searchers.
When you optimize your website and off-page content, you are showing your audience that you care about your business and what you have to offer. You care about answering their questions and providing the solutions that they need.
You are also showcasing a professional, reputable image that can help establish a sense of authority for your plumbing service.
On the topic of local SEO, which we’ll get into more later on, your efforts will guarantee that local customers are finding your services. It will give you a chance to market specific solutions or target certain audiences.
You can optimize for emergency plumbing and maintenance contracts at the same time, and generate two new, very specific audiences for your business.
It’s all about building your brand visibility and sense of authority while also improving your bottom line. That starts by finding the right customers, which is the whole point of SEO in the first place.
Think about when you started your business– how did people find out about you? They certainly didn’t just start calling one day. You had to go out and show them that your plumbing company was available. Plumber SEO is basically the same thing, just online.
How to Optimize Your Plumbing SEO
Although there are no two businesses that will have the exact same optimization strategy, there are definitely some general rules and guidelines that can help everyone. Google doesn’t give away its secrets, nor do other search engines, but they are all more than willing to advise on best practices, guidelines, and what factors are weighted in their indexing and ranking efforts.
Take advantage of all of this insight. If you know what they want, it’s much easier to deliver. Working with a professional SEO agency, you’ll be able to find plenty of ways to optimize your online presence for plumbing services in your locality or region.
Read on for some tips, along with a discussion on the much-neglected topic of off-page linking and listings.
Tips to improve your plumber SEO
Like any search engine optimization efforts, there are some methods and practices that will work better than others. There are also some things that you can do to jump-start the results of your campaigns by making quick, small changes.
The very first thing that we tell all of our clients to do is to handle their Google My Business page, and handle it properly.
Google My Business is a page that is dedicated to (and reserved for) your business. It includes a space for your general contact information, which should be standardized across all listings.
That’s the NAP thing we mentioned earlier– Google is big on making sure that your business listings are accurate and consistent across all websites and forums where it is posted.
There are a lot of different elements that you can fill out on your page and you should fill them in completely and entirely. You should also use keywords and optimize this listing where you can (without overdoing it, of course).
Here are some other tips to help you improve your SEO efforts:
- Make keyword research a priority. If you don’t know the keywords, you can’t incorporate them accordingly and you won’t get the rankings you want.
- Optimize all of your URLs and page titles as much as possible. Add local keywords if you can, but at the least optimize them for plumbing SEO keywords and phrases.
- Check your sitemap. Not only do you need to have one, but it should be updated, indexable, and optimized with proper keywords and relevant phrases.
- Use tools like Google Analytics to monitor and track the progress of your SEO campaigns. If you don’t know what’s working, you can’t keep optimizing, after all.
- Create relevant and useful content. Long-form content is winning right now, with Google preferring pages of around 1,000 words in length for the ideal balance of authority and information.
- Don’t forget the value of backlinks and off-page optimization efforts. In fact, let’s dig right into that now.
The importance of off-page listings and links
One of the biggest places where professional services like plumbers fall short with SEO is in their off-page optimization. In fact, many companies look right past this step in the optimization process because it doesn’t occur to them.
SEO doesn’t stop with your website.
In fact, when it comes to proper search engine optimization, your website is really just the beginning of the process. What you do with your off-page content is where you will typically have a much bigger impact and a lot more work to do.
Directory listings and industry forums are the most common places where you’ll find your plumbing company listed outside of your website. In some cases, you may have posted the listings.
In other cases, the site may have picked up the listing itself from the Internet. Either way, you need to double-check these listings for accuracy and optimize them wherever you can.
Your SEO audit should include an audit of all off-page content and listings. It should also include a list of potential new off-page sources of optimization that you are missing, such as relevant directories, your Google My Business page (if it hasn’t been claimed), and so forth.
Some SEO services will also give you the option to add backlinking services to your plan. Do it, always. Backlinks are just links that are posted on other reputable websites that send people back to your business.
When you foster relationships with industry peers and relevant websites, you’ll be able to generate a lot of these links. This kind of networking looks great to the search engines, so capitalize on it whenever you can.
Of course, like all of your optimization efforts, backlinks need to be:
- Redirecting people to the right page(s)
Part of the SEO audit process should include checking your existing plumber SEO efforts for broken backlinks, bad listings, and other things that could negatively impact your ranking.
For example, a directory where you were listed a few years ago may now be nothing more than a spam mill. As such, you’d want to remove your listing to disassociate your business as quickly as possible.
Backlinks are also like other optimization efforts in that doing nothing is better than doing it incorrectly. Use links, but be careful to use them appropriately for optimal results as a part of your optimization strategy.
Keyword Research and Using the Best Keywords
Now that we’re almost at the end of this guide, let’s talk about plumber SEO keywords. The mere fact that we’re just now getting to the topic should show you that there is so much more to SEO than keywords.
Keywords do matter, though, including which ones you use, how you use them, and other factors.
You have to research to find the right keywords for your plumbing company. While you could try to throw out your own common terms and phrases, there’s no guarantee that these are what people are actually searching for.
We’ll get deeper into this topic momentarily. First, though, let’s look at some of the most popular keywords for plumber SEO at the current time.
Best plumber SEO keywords
There are a lot of different keywords out there for the plumbing industry. Some are generic and revolve around variations of the words plumbing and plumber(s), while others are service-specific, such as “emergency plumber”.
Either way, there are a host of keywords that you can use. You just have to know which ones are best.
Here are some of the most searched keywords related to plumbers and plumbing to get you started:
- Plumbing services
- Toilet repair
- Drain cleaning
- Emergency plumber
- Clogged drain
- Water heater repair
- Plumbing repair(s)
- Toilet installation
- Shower repair
- Local plumber near me
- Water heater installation
- Sump pump installation
- Sump pump repair
- Leaky faucet
- Plumbing company
- Plumbing contractors
- Residential plumber
- 24-hour plumbing service(s)
These are in no particular order but are some of the most searched keywords related to plumbers and plumbing. Notice that some of them aren’t even about plumbers directly, so you may need to create content to capitalize on those specifically.
For example, if you connect the keyword “leaky faucet” to your website in some fashion, you’ll be cashing in on almost 3,000 searches a month based on recent research.
Don’t just take these keywords and run with them– you have to know how to incorporate them correctly. It’s all a part of the process. Now, let’s talk a little about how keyword research plays a role in the optimization process.
How to do keyword research
There is a lot to be said for doing the right research when you’re starting your SEO campaign. The list of keywords above is a great starting point for your campaigns. However, you would still be wise to perform your own keyword research before getting started.
You’ll want to use analytical tools and websites that track keyword searches to find out what people are looking for in your area. See which local searches are more common, because while people in one region might be big on searching for “emergency plumbers”, others might look for a “24-hour plumbing service”.
Remember not to discount any of the possibilities because the research doesn’t lie when you do it right.
Get Creative with Keywords
The words are only part of the equation. How they are used is what makes the difference. Take the time to think outside of the box. Take a hint from the list above and capitalize on those keywords that might not even use the word “plumber” or “plumbing”. Consider starting (or revamping) a blog to put these keywords to use.
For example, if you find that there are a lot of keywords related to DIY water heater installation, you could do a series of articles on professional installation, its merits, and why plumbers are the best choice.
You could even provide insight as to what homeowners can and can’t handle on their own.
Maybe people are searching in your area for drain repair or clog solutions. You could start a series on drain care, including what homeowners can DIY and when they should call the pros.
The whole point is to use the keywords as a means to present helpful, informative content for people so that they see your company as the best choice for all of their plumbing needs.
In today’s economy, selling your services means selling your brand as an authority that people can trust. Using keywords is the best way to get that message out.
The Value of Local Plumber SEO
Local optimization is a must for professional services like plumbers. After all, you’re not doing virtual jobs or capable of traveling across the country to perform work. You need to reach your local audience. The way that you do that is by adding local keywords to your optimization efforts.
What are local keywords? Sometimes, these are as simple as putting the city and/or state before or after a keyword.
For example, if you work in the greater San Francisco area, you’d probably want to optimize for keywords like “San Francisco plumbing” and “plumbers in San Francisco”.
You’d be even better to optimize with specific neighborhoods and suburbs if you’re near them because these are even more targeted and will narrow your audience down to the best possible prospects.
After all, it might not behoove you to drive all the way across the bay area when you’ve got a strong, targeted client base in one region of the city.
Getting back to the importance of local SEO, it has to be part of your strategy and part of your keyword research. Plus, there’s more to it than just throwing city names or locations next to other keywords.
There are directory listings, customer reviews, and other off-page efforts that take a special effort when it comes to local optimization.
Customer Reviews Count Toward SEO Rankings
Most people don’t realize that reviews are a part of optimization. After all, it makes sense that since reviews are written by someone else, you can’t optimize them with keywords.
However, if you remember from the beginning of this article, keywords are just one facet of optimization.
Customer reviews are part of the credibility of your ranking. They help bolster your image and enhance the authority that your plumbing company has in the eyes of the search engines.
Plus, it helps potential customers see what others have to say about their firsthand experience with your business.
You can tell people all day how great your business is, but until they hear it from someone else, they’re probably going to be skeptical.
The word of mouth of yesteryear is today’s online review. Treat it accordingly.
Professional Plumber SEO Solutions
If you’re ready to take your plumber SEO strategy off the page and put it in action, give us a call. Our dedicated team of experts has years of experience in boutique SEO solutions, including dedicated optimization for professional services like yours.
We’ll help you strategize, implement, and even learn about the best optimization efforts for your plumbing business so that you’re set up for success.
Contact us today to learn more and get started.